World Champs Women’s 400 — Let’s Run Half As Far

With a move down to the 200 imminent, Shaunae Miller-Uibo got the 400 gold she had been missing. (KEVIN MORRIS)

IF THIS WAS Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s farewell to the 400, it was emphatic. And golden.

The 28-year-old Bahamian is a two-time Olympic champion at one lap but had never secured a world title. She took care of the résumé omission Friday night, leading from the start and carrying through to a Caribbean sweep of the medals.

She clocked a year-leading 49.11 to beat the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino (49.60) by a half-second. Sada Williams took bronze in 49.75, a Barbadian Record.

In the starting blocks, SMU adjusted her long blue/green locks and made the sign of the cross. She was ready, and it showed from the gun.

Running from lane 3 she nearly had the stagger made up on lane 4’s Fiordaliza Cofil by 100m. At 200, the champion led Lieke Klaver, 23.24–23.42. At 300, Miller-Uibo was not out of sight, holding a small lead over Williams, 35.61–35.80.

But Miller-Uibo kept powering toward the line and underscoring her dominance. The champion had the fastest first (11.76) and last (13.50) 100s.

Paulino, whose 48.47 second leg had helped the DR win gold in the mixed 4×4, was only 5th through 200 (23.78). She had the fastest second 200 (25.82 to Miller-Uibo’s 25.87) and secured silver.

Medals by Paulino and Williams were the first ever in this event for the Dominican Republic and Barbados. Klaver was 4th in 50.33.

Afterward, Miller-Uibo was so spent she was lying on the track while answering questions from the in-stadium commentator. This was her third medal in the 400 (1 gold, 2 silver). She became the first to win this quadruple in the event: Olympics, WC, World Junior and World Youth.

Miller-Uibo, part of a Florida training group that includes Noah Lyles and Wayde van Niekerk, said she is done with the 400.

“We had a tough season at the beginning with a lot of injuries,” she explained. “It was my last year doing 400 meters, and I just focused on getting gold. The times didn’t matter to me.”

Now she is aiming at the 200. “I have run 21.7 without proper training,” she said. “Once we go at it, I think we can do better. I’ll also dive into the multi-events.”

The morning after her gold, she was in the stadium to watch husband Maicel Uibo run the decathlon 100.

Quality was less than that of three years ago at Doha, where 4th and 5th went in 49.60 and 49.61. Perhaps the extended format — 3 rounds spread over 6 days — contributed to slowish times.

Not only were the Americans out of the medals for the second straight WC, none made the final for the first time since ’03. NCAA champion Talitha Diggs, 19, came closest with a 50.84 semi that was 0.19 short of a time qualifier.


WOMEN’S 400 RESULTS

FINAL (July 22)

(temperature 77F/25C; humidity 50%)

1. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bah) 49.11 (WL)

(11.76, 11.48 [23.24], 12.37 [35.61], 13.50) (23.24/25.87);

2. Marileidy Paulino (DR) 49.60

(12.21, 11.57 [23.78], 12.32 [36.10], 13.50) (23.78/25.82);

3. Sada Williams (Bar) 49.75 NR

(12.13, 11.42 [23.55], 12.25 [35.80], 13.95) (23.55/26.20);

4. Lieke Klaver (Neth) 50.33

(11.87, 11.55 [23.42], 12.75 [36.17], 14.16) (23.42/26.91);

5. Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jam) 50.36

(12.36, 11.62 [23.98], 12.54 [36.52], 13.84) (23.98/26.38);

6. Fiordaliza Cofil (DR) 50.57

(12.12, 11.59 [23.71], 12.94 [36.65], 13.92) (23.71/26.86);

7. Candice McLeod (Jam) 50.78

(12.30, 11.87 [24.17], 12.66 [36.83], 13.95) (24.17/26.61);

8. Anna Kiełbasińska (Pol) 50.81

(12.28, 11.84 [24.12], 12.77 [36.89], 13.92) (24.12/26.69).

(lanes: 1. Kielbasinska; 2. McPherson; 3. Miller-Uibo; 4. Cofil; 5. McLeod; 6. Paulino; 7. Williams; 8. Klaver)

(reaction times: 0.107 Klaver, 0.123 Miller-Uibo, 0.131 McPherson, 0.147 Kielbasinska, 0.159 McLeod, 0.173 Cofil, 0.181 Williams, 0.189 Paulino)

HEATS (July 17)

I–1. Miller-Uibo 51.10; 2. Aliyah Abrams (Guy) 51.98; 3. Gabby Scott (PR) 52.05; 4. Susanne Walli (Aut) 52.18; 5. Paola Morán (Mex) 52.28; 6. Kendall Ellis (US) 52.55; 7. Miranda Coetzee (SA) 53.30.

II–1. McPherson 50.15; 2. Natalia Kaczmarek (Pol) 50.21; 3. Klaver 50.24 NR; 4. Nicole Yeargin (GB) 51.17; 5. Cátia Azevedo (Por) 51.55; 6. Tabata de Carvalho (Bra) 52.17; 7. Niddy Mingilishi (Zam) 52.84.

III–1. Williams 51.05; 2. Modesta Morauskaitė (Lit) 51.27; 3. Ama Pipi (GB) 51.32; 4. Charokee Young (Jam) 51.84; 5. Sophie Becker (Ire) 52.24; 6. Camille Laus (Bel) 52.56; 7. Eveline Saalberg (Neth) 52.59.

IV–1. Paulino 50.76; 2. Rhasidat Adeleke (Ire) 51.59; 3. Lynna Irby (US) 51.78; 4. Gunta Vaičule (Lat) 52.21; 5. Lauren Gale (Can) 52.46; 6. Anita Horvat (Slo) 52.67; 7. Imeobong Nse Uko (Ngr) 52.80.

V–1. Cofil 51.19; 2. Talitha Diggs (US) 51.54; 3. Roxana Gómez (Cub) 51.85; 4. Alice Mangione (Ita) 52.72; 5. Silke Lemmens (Swi) 52.86; 6. Aiyanna Stiverne (Can) 53.07; 7. Naomi van den Broeck (Bel) 53.16.

VI–1. Kiełbasińska 50.63; 2. McLeod 50.76; 3. Victoria Ohuruogu (GB) 51.07; 4. Lada Vondrová (CzR) 51.55; 5. Natassha McDonald (Can) 52.41; 6. Tiffani Marinho (Bra) 52.80; 7. Sheeren Samson Vallybouy (Mas) 53.57; 8. Rosie Elliott (NZ) 54.92.

SEMIS (July 20)

I–1. Miller-Uibo 49.55; 2. McLeod 50.05; 3. Kiełbasińska 50.65; 4. Adeleke 50.81; 5. Ohuruogu 50.99 PR; 6. Irby 51.00; 7. Azevedo 51.79; 8. de Carvalho 52.42.

II–1. Cofil 50.14 PR; 2. Klaver 50.18 NR; 3. McPherson 50.56; 4. Yeargin 51.22; 5. Kaczmarek 51.34; 6. Abrams 51.79; 7. Scott 51.97; 8. Walli 52.37.

III–1. Paulino 49.98; 2. Williams 50.12; 3. Diggs 50.84; 4. Gómez 51.12; 5. Young 51.41; 6. Vondrová 51.47; 7. Morauskaitė 52.19; 8. Pipi 52.28.